Insanity An Unaffordable Luxury

Rochester Psychiatric FacilityV2

According to a study released recently by the American Association of Associated Americans (AAAA), insanity may soon be out of reach for all but the super-rich, if current trends continue.

Chumley Throckmorton, PR Liaison for AAAA, explained the findings at a recent press event.

“America was founded on democratic values,” he began, “our constitution guarantees specific freedoms like speech, religion, and the pursuit of happiness. Happiness means different things to different people but one thing is certain, for many of us it means embracing our inner whackadoomian and smiling shamelessly as the cheese drifts slowly off the cracker.

“If one quality has helped to shape this nation more than any other it is the enthusiastic celebration of personal insanity,” he smiled.

“Madness was no mere colorful side road of the American experience, oh no, looneytude carved Main Street out of a hostile wilderness, tied the sky with wire, clogged the air with carbon monoxide and made the racing rivers glisten with mercury. Toxic levels of greed, ambition, and aggression drove a long parade of pathologically disturbed explorers, industrialists, bankers, bookies, assassins and interior decorators to ravage a utopia of incalculable natural wealth and beauty.

“That didn’t just happen,” Throckmorton continued, hammering the podium as the word “happen” arrived, “it took vision, the vision of men and women not afraid to make their demented dreams a reality.

But today,” he looked down, removed his glasses, cleaned them on his assistant’s tie, put them back on his face, and proceeded, “all that is in jeopardy.

“The ever-widening gulf between them what got and them what got not is having a chilling effect on insanity which, in the vast majority of cases, has simply become unaffordable. The result is that our once marvelously wild and obstreperous nation of misfits, malcontents, rabble-rousers, gangsters, and entrepreneurs is becoming whitebread, drab, listless, and dull. If this continues at its current pace it won’t be long before we’re indistinguishable from Belgium…or even Switzerland.

“Nationwide, those who do choose to experiment with insanity today are opting out of the glamour, high-maintenance diseases with force enough to bend rivers and level mountains for disorders that are more annoying than truly pathological. Complaints like triskaidekaphobia, arachnophobia, and phobophobia may qualify as maladies of the mind, but we are kidding ourselves if we think we can build the nation’s future on a foundation of triviality.”

Throckmorton summed up thusly. “If America hopes to be the nation it was once and frequently claims to be now it must first find a way to make insanity universally affordable. The painful irony here is that now it is only the rich that can afford insanity and, typically, they have absolutely no idea what to do with it.”

Poetry: Too Important To Be Left To The Sane

Poetry Is Far Too Important For Sane

As an insecure, fear-driven youth I relied exclusively on intellect. Lacking faith in social institutions, other people, or myself, I steadfastly trusted my mind’s ability to predict and manage life’s challenges. It made for a chilly, detached existence I found satisfactory.

“Poetry is far too important to be left to the sane.” Taz Mopula

Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) changed all that for me. It was obvious that even my most faithful ally, my mind, was untrustworthy.

When I sat down to write Invisible Driving, my bipolar memoir, I knew I was taking a risk – remembering my mania to write about it might easily have sparked another episode. Revisiting my terrors was the very last thing I felt like doing.

Ultimately it became clear that, unless I faced my demon down, it would keep coming back and my next encounter with it might well be my last. So, I went sailing head first into darkness, I unwrapped the gift of desperation.

“Great soldiers are brave; great poets are reckless.” Taz Mopula

My rational mind dearly desired to control, to soar above events and manipulate them like a puppeteer with marionettes. But the task at hand took precedence over my ego, and because it did, I trusted the process itself. After so many years of being a shoemaker, doing piecework for nickels and dimes, I became a real writer not because I thought my way into it but because I surrendered to it.

“We write to discover who we are, and in the process, become somebody else.” Taz Mopula

I do not deny the importance of craft, if one wants to be a guitarist one must learn how to play the guitar. But it is not the fingers on strings that make you an artist; it is the story they tell, and the way it reaches, and moves, others. You don’t play music; you find it. It isn’t in a curvy wooden box; it passes through you like wind through a canyon, coming out of nowhere, on its way to parts unknown.

“Writing great poetry becomes much easier when you’re willing to die for it.” Taz Mopula

My dive into darkness replaced fear with faith, not just faith in myself, but faith in the unknown, and unknowable. I embraced chaos without judgment or disappointment; I understood I could rely upon uncertainty.

“Without life, poetry itself would be meaningless.” Taz Mopula

In the end a writer is merely a man in a room with a typewriter. He arranges words like a Byzantine artisan laying tiles into a mosaic which gradually reveals an illustrative pattern quite possibly unknown even to him until the very moment of completion.

“It’s always darkest before the movie starts.” Taz Mopula